Jean Button Replacement : Fix the button back on your jeans

Here is a tutorial on how to fix jeans with no button - an easy way to replace the jean button.And learn to make your own jeans button.


How to fix a new button on jeans when the original button falls off your jeans- this is a dilemma many of us who live in jeans face many times over in our lives.

how to replace a button that is broken on jeans
Jeans button smashed in the washing machine

Sometimes the jean button pops off like the cork off a champagne bottle, under strain; others do a quiet disappearance in the laundry basket. Maybe you had a large meal or you are growing at the waist and waist alone!.

Or you just got some old Jeans from somewhere (handed over/sales) without the button. The jeans is so useless without a button.

Giving it to a professional tailor involves some serious money exchange, a trip to and fro, waste of time when you can watch Netflix or whatever instead.

The button replacement would look complicated to a novice in sewing.  But, actually fixing the jean button is so much simpler than sewing a button.  You just need to have a new spare jean button and a hammer. Absolutely No-sewing involved.

So here is how to fix a jeans with no button

Step 1. Gather your supplies

Take your jeans button; place your jeans on a flat surface. Preferably keep a hard flat surface under the jeans, which would not get damaged by the hammer whacks .

replacing jeans buttons - the two parts of the jeans button
Replacement button for jeans

If you do not have a spare jeans button at home you need to go to a shop and buy a metal button specifically meant for jeans – they will have it under jeans button. The haberdashery store near your home will surely stock it.

the two parts of the jeans replacement buttons
The two parts of the jeans button

The jeans button, also called a tack button, consists of two parts – The front part which is the bigger button you see on the outside and the back part which is basically a screw or a tack. The front part has a small hole in the back which will fit the sharp point of the back button.

Step 2. Reinforce the hole

You may want to reinforce the hole for two reasons – one, the hole became too big when you were removing it. Another, reason is that the new jeans button is loose on your hole?

As you remove the damaged button with a seam ripper or some sharp tool you will be making the hole bigger to take out the button.

take out the jeans button
Use seam ripper to take out the damaged button

Try inserting your button first – if you find that the button is loose and dangling around you may have to keep an extra fabric (one or two layers) under the hole.

keep denim patches under the hole
1 inch denim patches to reinforce the hole

Stitch it there in place and then make a hole through them.

Keep the denim patch under the hole
Keep the small patches under the hole

This will create a buffer and prevent the jeans button hanging all loose.

Step 3. The process of button insertion

Do you have the plastic jean button tool? If yes, keep the plastic tool in place. Otherwise, do not worry. It is just a convenience. 

button replacement tool for jeans

The jeans-button tool is completely optional. But it is a nice tool to have. It acts like a pair of tongs keeping the two buttons in place and It protects the metal button from getting damaged from the hard whack of the hammer.

You can use thick wads of fabric under and above the buttons,instead. 

 Take your  hammer – you need a hammer to drive the screw into the front button.

hammer is needed for jeans button replacement

My hammer has seen some real world action – this explains its ugliness, no ruggedness.

If you have a heavy tool similar to the hammer that also will do – it should have a small flat surface which will touch the button flat as it hits.

Step 4 Insert the tack button from the back into the hole of your jeans.

insert the back tack button from the back of your jeans as a first stepping in attaching the jeans button

Step 5 Place the top button from the front and try to close it – it won’t. but Keep it that way.

Keep the other front part on top

With the plastic tool you can press it closed, as you use the hammer.

Place the jeans button attaching tool on top and bottom

Step 6 Now use the hammer right on top of the front button 

You just pound on the button with the button in place. 

Use the hammer on the button

If you are using the plastic tool, you will be hitting on the plastic top – but really ensure that the jean button is properly aligned in between the thing.

The first hit should be made gently – you just need to attach the screw. Then use more force with the next blow – keeping everything level. Ensure that the button and the back thing is stuck together levelly. 

Problems that crop up in this jean button replacement job

Things to be wary of when replacing your jeans buttons and the precautions you should take as you replace jean buttons.

Scenario one : You just have one button – and the replacement is a failure.

Soon you will be on a trip to your button store again because that one and only one was crushed beyond recognition by your hammer. Buy quality buttons – in many numbers. Buy more than one, definitely. Even if nothing happens, you can still use them for other jeans.

Or go the last part of this post – there is an alternative method.

Scenario two : The button did not fasten properly; they stick out.

When you use the hammer ensure that the button is attached fully and closely. Otherwise, soon they will pop out again – this time in a very inappropriate scenario.

Scenario three : You got bad quality jeans buttons and all are getting damaged one after the other.

All the jean buttons  look the same but they are not – some are made of plastic with a thin coating of metal over them – they get damaged easily.

Also go easy as you use the hammer- you are not Thor and you do not have to avenge anything – those are darling buttons, not Mangog.

Scenario Four : Hole is bigger.

You have successfully replaced the jeans button but the button is dancing around in the hole – this is because the hole has gotten too big because of the strain the old button was placing on it. Or may be the new button is smaller.

And when you place the new one, it has enough room to even waltz around. You can either stitch the hole tighter or use a washer, between the front and back part of the jean buttons.

jeans button replacement

Tada! The jean button is fixed. It is as if the erstwhile useless jeans has gotten itself a new life. You are a lifesaver. I am too. I would have cut up this jeans and made it into a bag otherwise, like I did in this project – DIY Jean bags.

But what to do if you do not have a metal jeans button ? There is still an easy solution

How to fix a jeans without the jeans Button.

fix jeans buttons with DIY buttons made with fabric and another normal button

You can take any other button, wrap it in a piece of thick fabric ( it should be thick enough to disguise the texture of the button) Denim scrap piece is perfect for this. The size of the button should be just enough to go through the buttonhole

cover a normal button (padded) with denim

Take the button and wrap it in the fabric piece. 

Tie the fabric around the button with thread

Using thread tie the neck of the button over the fabric piece, tightly and securely.

Keep the fabric covered button on the hole and stitch in place

Insert through the hole. Hand stitch the projecting part on the back with small stitches. There is your faux jeans button.

Related posts : Jeans repair – 7 problems and solutions; How to fix holes on jeans ; Different types of jeans ; How to sew buttons ; Button Styles in Sewing

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Jean Button Replacement : Fix the button back on your jeans”

  1. There are 3 distinctly different styles of replacement jeans button:
    1) Very thin shaft
    2) The shaft is a wide screw
    3) The shaft is an intermediate width but has no thread (act more like a rivet)

    A very thin shaft would be prone to moving around in the hole if not fully depressed into the button and might need reinforcing prior to fitment?

    The sharp edges of a screw shaft are likely to chew out the hole over time if it’s not fully inserted into the button.

    Thus the shaft with the intermediate width and no thread might be ideal?

    If the top and bottom of the button are firmly sitting one on top of the other the thread should be a non-issue… but sometimes it’s often a bit hard to do this… as the cloth gets in the way?

    Does anyone have an opinion about the optimal type of replacement button to use?

    Of course, you could just sew the old one back on? …but the thread tends to break again over time… whereas most jeans buttons won’t give you trouble if you’ve affixed them correctly?


  2. Having mended numerous jeans for people I have found it better to strengthen the ’empty’ hole using a small patch of iron-on cotton interfacing or bond-a-web ironed onto a matching colour patch covering the hole on the back of the waistband and make a darn over the hole as least visible as possible when the new button is placed over it.

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